Another billionaire joins Soros to…

Another billionaire joins Soros to defeat Bush

Peter B. Lewis, a Cleveland-based insurance billionaire, Soros has pledged $5 million to

And there are others

Joel Hyatt, founder of the Hyatt Legal Services chain of storefront legal clinics and a onetime candidate for the Senate from Ohio, is backing former Vice President Al Gore’s bid to start a new youth-oriented cable network to counter the influence of Fox News. Mark Walsh, a former AOL executive who served as chief technology advisor to the Democratic National Committee, has purchased a radio network from two Chicago venture capitalists with hopes of launching an alternative to conservative talk radio.

John Podesta, the former chief of staff in Clinton’s White House, has raised $13 million for a new left-wing think tank, the Center for American Progress. And Norman Lear, the pioneer of liberal television shows like “All in the Family,” is corralling Hollywood into a $27-million effort to get out the youth vote.

Get the popcorn and the flak jackets, Campaign 2004 is going to be exciting, thunderous, vicious, and the political equivalent of war. On second thought, screw the popcorn. This is no time to be on the sidelines. The stakes are too high for that. Jump in and get involved. Bush must be stopped.

And here are some of the major players who plan to do just that.

Leftie soft money PACs

Cash raised by soft money PACs can be used for attack ads, for ads about issues, but not ads favoring a specific Presidential candidate. This list, from an article in the Hartford Courant, also lists right-wing soft money PACs. I added links when I could find them.

Predictably, the Right is whining about how the horrid Left is using tainted soft money – when of course the Right has been doing precisely the same for years. Apparently attack ads are only ok when done by them.

America Coming Together

Founders include Ellen Malcolm, president of EMILY’s List, Steve Rosenthal, head of the Partnership for America’s Families and former AFL-CIO political director, Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, Carl Pope, Sierra Club executive director.

GOAL: To raise more than $75 million for a voter registration and get-out-the-vote effort focused on defeating President Bush in 17 states.

This is the big one. Soros has donated 10 million; Ellen Malcolm, 20 million. It is assumed they will give more, and ACT may well raise far more than 75 million.

America Votes

Members include AFL-CIO, ACORN, AFSCME, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, America Coming Together, EMILY’s List, League of Conservation Voters,, NAACP National Voter Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club.

GOAL: To coordinate get-out-the-vote and other election activities.

An impressive coalition of some major players, some of whom are also in ACT.

Partnership For America’s Families

Created by former AFL-CIO Political Director Steve Rosenthal.
GOAL: Voter outreach, particularly in battleground states.

Working America Alliance

Created by AFSCME’s president, Gerald McEntee.
GOAL: Get-out-the-vote and other election activities

Environment 2004

Former Clinton administration officials.
GOAL: Environmental issues.

Moving America Forward

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, McEntee and others.
GOAL: To register Hispanic and American Indian voters.